Legendary songwriter Lou Reed
passed away yesterday at the age of 71.
The cause of his death is unclear, and is currently believed not to be connected to his recent liver transplant in May this year.
Reed is best known in these parts for his collaboration with Metallica
on the album "Lulu
," but his fame began with the Velvet Underground
, a counter-cultural flag point in collaboration with artist Andy Warhol
Reed was their guitarist, vocalist and lead songwriter. The band were considered a commercial failure at the time, but developed a massive following after future major artists including the likes of Brian Eno
began to cite the Velvet Underground as a major influence.
By 1972, Reed began a solo career which bounced from the hit like "Walk on the Wild Side
" to the antagonising experimental album "Metal Machine Music
." At his best, Reed wowed critics; while describing his debut solo album Rolling Stone
said: "It is a voice so incapable of bullshit that it makes even an artsy arrangement work by turning the whole thing into a joyous travesty."
In his later career, Reed's fame saw a resurgence when the film "Trainspotting
" used his song "Perfect Day
" on its soundtrack.
Reed collaborated with Metallica on the theatrical score "Lulu" in 2011. The album was widely anticipated for its potential to break new ground, but was widely criticised upon its release by fans and critics alike. However, members of Metallica continue to assert that recording with Reed was one of their proudest moments
. "Working with Lou Reed was such a cool, unique, and special thing for us,"
said guitarist Kirk Hammett
His ex-bandmate in the Velvet Underground John Cale wrote
yesterday: "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet ... I've lost my school-yard buddy."